Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not a new concept anymore in Mauritius. For years now, profitable companies have been required by law to devote part of their profits to CSR activities. For Suchem, it goes beyond that: it’s not only money injected in the neighbourhood, but more importantly, it’s the employees getting involved in the community.
There is hardly a month going by without an activity involving the employees of Suchem in their Pailles neighbourhood – and sometimes, even a little further. Bluette Drioux, HR & Admin Executive at Suchem, explains that when they were looking for community work to do in the vicinity, they met people who didn’t necessarily need financial help but support. And a helping hand, Bluette, Jivin Mohes, Technical Assistant within the crop protection products department and all their colleagues from Suchem were more than happy to give.
If one takes a look at Suchem’s calendar of events, it will be understood that the team doesn’t really believe in one-offs. The staff tends to focus more on the long term and favours continuous care and accompaniment. In July last year, they were introduced to the “tontons” (homeless men) in Port Louis and decided, in the midst of winter, to organise a collection of donations and food for them. Not wanting their action to be an isolated gesture, they kept in touch with Caritas and on December 23rd, they offered a diner to the Caritas night shelter in Belle Rose. More important than food, they also gave their time: Together with their families, many members of the team spent the evening at the shelter, singing Christmas carols through the night and bringing joy and laughter to those spending the night in Belle Rose. The employees of Suchem organise quite a few actions of the kind throughout the year. They are regulars at the neighbouring “Ecole d’Eveil” in Pailles where they hold activities for the children Caritas Pailles also asked them to conduct trainings on food self-sufficiency for their beneficiaries.
Besides the appreciation they derive from the community, these actions also make the employees of Suchem happier and more engaged. “I had read somewhere, ‘If you don’t want to remain sad, go out, help and support others. By helping them you will realise that your problems are small compared to other people. You will realise the value of the life you have, with the people and things that form part of your life.’ I was able to help. I did it with love and it’s true, it feels good”, says Jivin. Bluette agrees, adding that going out in the neighbourhood got her to realise how lucky she was to have a job, a house and more importantly a family she can always rely on. “Often times, we take things for granted…” Bluette’s colleague, Belinda Blackburn, Receptionist, adds that she enjoys spending time with children and making them smile, even if it is for a short moment, “it makes me very happy.”
Sandhini, who had never done any social work before, was “overwhelmed with happiness” the first time she got the opportunity to do something for the people at St Jean. “I wish that the effort that Suchem made continues every year, as we are able to make a change for the better.” Doris Parfait, Administrative Clerk at Suchem, couldn’t agree more. She concludes saying how proud she is of being part of this collective action at Suchem.
“Members of the team spent the evening at the shelter, singing Christmas carols through the night and bringing joy and laughter to those spending the night in Belle Rose.”